Teacher Guide to World Leaders
Human history is a story of war and peace, nation building and architectural achievement, beautiful poetry and great scientific discoveries. Men and women have contributed to this rich tapestry in many different ways throughout the history of mankind. Leaders are those who had an opportunity to play central roles in the drama of their times; significant world leaders are those who did it successfully under times of great stress and change.
Famous world leaders who have played a hand in determining the course of human civilization include kings from the past such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne and Julius Caesar. These were men who set out to build empires and so they caused massive movements in human population that lead to new ways in which civilizations were shaped. Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Isabella were also monarchs who guided their respective countries, Russia, England and Spain, at times of great change in ways which influenced the expansion of boundaries.
In more recent times there have been elected leaders and political philosophers who have held position of significant power that has impacted the lives of millions. Abraham Lincoln as president of the US changed the lives of slaves with his Proclamation of Independence. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, rewrote the rules of struggle and war with his philosophy of non-violence. Simon Bolivar is venerated in much of South America for his ability to believe in his vision and his ability to make it come alive. Karl Marx, while not a political leader in the same sense, was a very influential person in the way his philosophy of Marxism shaped the lives of thousands across countries. Charismatic men and women in many countries have helped their people believe in dreams even when the reality has been dire and this is no mean achievement. Martin Luther King in the US and Nelson Mandela in South Africa are prominent examples of leaders who have achieved this.
A reading comprehension activity on Mao Zedong, a major political leader of China. A reading comprehension activity on Tokugawa Ieyasu, the great Japanese Shogun.
When speaking of leaders it is important to understand the powerful role of religious leaders. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius, lead their lives according the principles laid out by these leaders and are likely to speak highly of the importance of these leaders. These are people who have inspired others to make major sacrifices and they have helped many find happiness and peace and this is no small achievement.
A reading comprehension activity on Montezuma II, leader of the Aztecs. A reading comprehension activity on Shaka Zulu, one of the most powerful South African leaders in history.
While talking of world leaders who have made a significant contribution to history it is important to remember scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin and Einstein among many others because they were again people who have encouraged mankind to look beyond the obvious. They have followed their impulses and explored the world around them and this has helped us all gain a better understanding of the universe. To be curious and to have the courage of conviction to explore a thought or a concept is also a mark of great leadership.
These are people who have made an unforgettable impact on the way we look at the world now. It is hard to imagine how life would have progressed for human kind if these people had not played the parts that they did in our history.
A reading comprehension activity on Mohandas Gandhi, spiritual and political leader of India. A reading comprehension activity on Queen Elizabeth I, England's third female ruler. A detailed look at Queen Isabella, who ended the Reconquista.
Related Teacher Resources That Are Worth A Look:
- A Leader's Legacy
- A Press Conference With Abraham Lincoln
- CIA Current World Leader Database
- Follow the Leader
- Holding Leaders Responsible
- Interviewing Famous Leaders in History
- Historical World Leaders